Entertainment & Arts

Zach Braff raises $1.5m to make Garden State follow-up

Zach Braff in Garden State
Image caption Braff's cult film Garden State won an Independent Spirit Award in 2005

Actor and director Zach Braff has raised $1.5m (£970,000) to fund the follow-up to cult film Garden State.

More than 20,000 fans donated money within 24 hours through a "crowd-sourcing" website.

Wish I Was here will feature Braff in the lead role as a struggling actor who has to home-school his children.

"I want you to be my financiers and my audience so I can make a movie for you with no compromises," Braff said in his appeal to fans.

The Emmy-winner wrote online that he did not want to lose his "artistic control" by signing a deal with a film studio.

"It would have involved making a lot of sacrifices I think would have ultimately hurt the film," he said.

Image caption Braff filmed Garden State in 2004

Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons is lined up to co-star in the film, with Braff's Scrubs co-star Donald Faison likely to make a cameo.

Braff, who wrote the screenplay with his brother Adam, said he was inspired by the success of the campaign to bring TV detective series Veronica Mars to the big screen.

"I couldn't help but think maybe there is a new way to finance smaller, personal films that didn't involve signing away all your artistic control," he wrote on his donation page.

Cinematographer Larry Sher, who worked with Braff on Garden State and the Hangover comedy trilogy, has joined the actor on the new project.

Other projects to have benefited from similar campaigns include animated films The Goon, which raised $442,000 (£296,000), and Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa, for which $406,000 (£272,000) was pledged by fans.

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